Spring 2010»CITA 210 Course Syllabus

CITA 210 Course Syllabus

College of CharlestonJanuary 25, 2010

CITA210 Game Programming

Sample Course Syllabus


Dr. Bill Manaris


Room: 223 J.C. Long Building
Phone: (95)3-8159
E-mail: manarisb@cofc.edu
Web: http://www.cs.cofc.edu/~manaris/

Office Hours:

Monday, Wednesday from 1-2:30PM.
Tuesday from 9-10:30AM.
Other hours available by appointment.

Course Description:

A course introducing principles of game programming, including computer modeling, data visualization and animations, media transformations, and video game ethics. Students will be exposed to several game engines, a scripting language, and develop at least one game.

Prerequisites: CITA 120, CITA 180 or permission of instructor.

Tentative Topics:

Intro to Game Design, Pair-Programming, Collaborative Skills, User Interface Design, Paper Prototyping & Storyboards, Creating Sounds for Games, Graphic Design for Games, Video Game Ethics (Games and Violence), Python Programming (Sequence, Selection, Iteration, I/O, Lists, Functions, Classes), Game Loop, Audio, Sprites, Animation, Event Handling, Collision Detection, Game Engines (MIT Scratch, StarLogo TNG, pygame, pyglet, Inform 7, Unity).


A. Harris (2007), Game Programming, Wiley.


  • J. Schell (2008), The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Morgan Kaufmann.
  • D. Sonnenschein (2002), Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema, Michael Wiese Productions.
  • Carnagey, N.L., Anderson, C.A., Bushman, B.J. (2007), "The effect of video game violence on physiological desensitization to real-life violence", Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 489-496.

Additional reading materials will provided via handouts, the class website, and/or WebCT.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Familiarity with appropriate data, information and knowledge-gathering techniques and research skills in the discipline.
    • This course will introduce you to computer data modeling, algorithmic techniques, and computer-related research in developing computer games. You will:
      • Learn fundamentals of computer game development.
      • Explore different game engines.
      • Learn a scripting programming language.
      • Learn how to manipulate media: images, sounds, and music.
      • Learn how to create computer models and data visualizations in any field of study.
      • Explore video game ethical issues (e.g., violence).
      • Gain experience with oral presentations.
  2. Using appropriate critical thinking skills and problem-solving techniques in a variety of contexts.
    • See (1) above.
  3. Using effective skills and strategies for working collaboratively.
    • You will participate in various collaborative activities, such as collaborative written exercises, team programming in-class activities, and group projects.
    • At times, we will engage in inquiry-based learning and related activities.


To receive a passing grade for the course, you must average a passing grade on each of the following: assignments, tests, and final exam.

Scale: A: 90-100; B: 80-89; C: 70-79; D: 60-69; F: <60. The grades of B+/, C+/, and D+/ may be given at the professor's discretion.

Final Grade Computation: Assignments (4-6) 30%, Tests (2) 40%, Comprehensive Final Exam or Final Project 20%, and Class Participation 10%.

Honor Code:

  • You must do your assignments alone (or with your teammates, for group assignments).
  • You are not allowed to discuss assignments and possible solutions with any person other than the instructor (or with your teammates, for group assignments). Any violation of these rules is an honor offense.
  • On assignments you will be asked to identify the person(s) you received help from, if any.
  • Also see the College of Charleston Student Handbook, especially sections on The Honor Code (p. 10), and Student Code of Conduct (p. 12). There is other useful information there.

Test Policies:

  • Attendance at tests is mandatory. Students must complete tests with no discussion or sharing of information with other students.
  • Calculators, computers, cell phones, etc. may not be used during a test, unless otherwise directed.

Classroom Policies:

  • You are expected to take good notes during lecture.
  • You are expected to participate in class with questions and invited discussion.
  • You are expected to attend all classes. If you miss class, you must get an absence memo from the Associate Dean of Students Office; also, you are responsible for announcements made in class, assignment due dates, etc.
  • You should turn off all electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, pagers, etc.).
  • Since we are in a lab, you must use the computers only as directed (e.g., no checking email, or playing games) during class.
  • In summary, you should contribute positively to the classroom learning experience, and respect your classmates right to learn (see College of Charleston Student Handbook, section on Classroom Code of Conduct (p. 62)).

Assignment Policies:

  • Assignment grades will be based on creative inspiration, design, style, and correctness of result.
  • Submission instructions will be provided for each assignment.

Late Policy:

  • You have four "late" days for the whole semester. You may use these days as you wish for assignment submission. If you use them up, no late assignments will be accepted.
  • If you submit everything on time (i.e., use no late days), you will earn an additional 2.5 bonus points on your course grade.